Syrian-Russian airstrikes launched in Homs

Beginning Saturday, in a joint mission between Syria and Russia, fighter jets launched a continuous round of airstrikes in the various territories of the Homs province, targeting Islamic State and the al-Nusra Front.

The airstrikes continued through Sunday, resulting in many deaths and injuries, including injury of an Al-Jazeera journalist. Homs Liberation Movement spokesman Suhaib al-Ali told The New Arab, “Al-Jazeera’s correspondent Jalal Suleiman was among those injured by the airstrikes.”

On Saturday, the bombings struck IS camps located near Palmyra (Tadmur) and the eastern town of Quaryatayn, near the al-Bardeh territory. The regime also focused on the al-Nusra Front located in northern Homs. The areas of Tald, Houla, Borj Qai, Keisin, and al-Rastan were heavily bombed. Syrian fighter jets heavily bombed the oil-rich regions of al-Sha’er and al-Jazal.

On Sunday, the Houla region of Homs was hit by more than a dozen airstrikes. According to the Homs Media Centre, “In less than an hour, 17 airstrikes were launched by Syrian regime’s air forces, targeting civilian homes. These were followed by shelling from heavy artillery by regime forces stationed in Qarmas village.”

The attacks devastated many homes, killed at least one person and injured many others. The Homs Liberation reported more than 20 people have been killed in the Houla area over the past week.

Syrian forces faced heavy fighting with rebels, along with al-Nusra Front militants in northern Homs, resulting in dozens of casualties.

Fighting has intensified over the past few months, in spite of an alleged ceasefire that many government officials have openly criticized. In April, events led to the United Nations evacuation of wounded civilians out of the country. In addition, the High Negotiations Committee(HNC) walked out of peace negotiations, accusing the Syrian regime of repeatedly violating the cessation of violations.

Since March 2011, the death toll in Syria has surpassed more than 250,000 and forced millions to flee their homes.

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